Got up to find Sam, as he was coming with us to Pai, and to book our bus. There was one that went from the hotel. An air-con minivan, it said. We could have got a local bus for ฿70 and a taxi to the station for ฿30, but we didn’t mind paying a bit extra for less hassle and AC. A little flatbed truck thing pulled up a while later. We were all horrified at the state of it and hoped it wasn’t taking us all the way. We said goodbye to Ev and Red and hopped aboard the truck and tried to sit in a way that didn’t have a piece of metal poking into our backs.
Twenty minutes later after going down all the little streets picking people up from their hotels we thankfully got to a little bus station where we got into a proper van. I didn’t realise how many people were getting on so popped my bag on the bottom. didn’t realise that it wasn’t just the five people he’d picked up on the bus; he waited until the van was full so eleven in total. My poor bag. Not surprised my laptop keys are broken. Lesson learnt: put your bag on last.
The ride took about four hours when on Google it says 1:45, but he was going so slow and the van really struggled with the winding hills because of all the weight in it. It was just going through a jungly path the whole way and there was a weird security checkpoint at the province border. It made me and Lauren wonder what makes a jungle and if we actually were in one.
When we finally got there I was a bit disappointed at how big it was. Most things I’ve read make out like it’s a really small town but it’s a bit like a smaller Chiang Mai but with higher mountains. The streets seem quite clean but there’s hardly any pavements as the shops all put their crap on it so you have to walk in the road. There’s also a hard shoulder type thing on the main road that people drive in. I’m not sure if this is for people or cars but you have to walk in it as there’s nowhere else. It’s definitely more chilled out than Chiang Mai and smaller but there’s still an airport knocking about somewhere. We got a grilled corn on the cob before parting ways with Sam who wanted AC and headed to our bungalow. We saw a sign for it as we passed in the van and we found it quite easily. It’s around a ten-minute walk out of town which I wanted for some peace and quiet. On the photos it looks really secluded but it actually looks down the hill onto the main road so you can see quite a few buildings.
We were supposed to stay in a wooden bungalow but it had loads of holes in the walls and there was a brick one with its own bathroom and mesh on the windows for a bit more so we went for that as we thought it would keep the bugs out. It also had a better view I reckon which was one of the main reasons for choosing Tony’s even though it’s full of houses and a weirdly ugly turquoise building that stands out like a sore thumb, whatever that means.
Once we got inside we realised that the mesh on the windows was loose in the corner, neither the windows nor door closed completely, the bathroom was outside but inside again, and there was no mosquito net in this one which we thought we’d need. The doors are glass so you can look at stuff without getting covered in bugs but the wicker bench at the wooden bungalow has been replaced or a concrete one here so I got a sore bum when I read my Kindle out there too long. It’s not exactly a palace but it’s nice to see the clouds in between the mountains in the distance. There’s some kinda temple set in the trees I can see too which would be cool to visit.
After getting settled a bit, I messaged Sam and we went for something to eat. I got a bowl of curry noodles, a couple of curry pus and a tomato avocado grilled cheese bruschetta thing. I got a pair of simple pants or ฿130 to keep the bugs off my legs, so I’m fully protected now, hopefully.
I didn’t realise how Reggae this place was. There’s loads of hippies knocking about possibly outnumbering the locals and most bars have Bob Marley type stuff playing. I’m not a fan but if you were this is the place. Had a mojito at a bar that was playing Eminem when we went past earlier but had a live act come on. We moved to another bar and another live act came on. We tried to go up to the roof as was advertised but it was a little square half the size of my kitchen with a load of lay abouts sprawled everywhere saying “O yahh”, so we left. Just went to one more bar (that had a couch that was more hole than material and a tyre for a chair) for an expensive beer then went home. The place does have a mellow night time scene with lots of twinkle lights which I liked in spite of the filthy hippies.
Got back to the room to find a scorpion chilling out on the wall. I wanted to kill it but Lauren said I had to catch it and throw it outside. Got one of our water bottles and put it over it which it didn’t like so it tried to sting the bottle a couple of times. I proper launched it out the door, secretly hoping that it went hurling to a watery grave in the lake at the bottom of the hill.